Ohio Strikes Back Against Big Tech, Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Google

June 9th, 2021 2:26 PM

The Big Tech giant Google has maintained its grip on the market for too long, and another state has decided to fight back. 

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) filed a lawsuit against Google arguing that “Google’s operation of Google Search is a public utility.” If successful, the lawsuit would ensure that Google Search “does not unfairly discriminate against third party websites.”

Yost argued in the lawsuit that “Google intentionally structures its Results Pages to prioritize Google products over organic search results. Google intentionally disadvantages competitors, by featuring Google products and services prominently on Results pages.”

The lawsuit cited the concurring opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas in the case of Biden v. Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. Much of his concurring opinion was devoted to the idea that “digital platforms that hold themselves out to the public resemble traditional common carriers.” Thomas reasoned that “[t]he analogy to common carriers is even clearer for digital platforms that have dominant market share.” 

Yost said that Google’s business practices inherently disadvantage consumers. “Google uses its dominance of internet search to steer Ohioans to Google’s own products--that's discriminatory and anti-competitive,” Yost said in a statement. “When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access.”

Google, of course, played innocent in a statement to MRC Free Speech America. “Google Search is designed to provide people with the most relevant and helpful results. AG Yost's lawsuit would make Google Search results worse and make it harder for small businesses to connect directly with customers. Ohioans simply don't want the government to run Google like a gas or electric company. This lawsuit has no basis in fact or law and we'll defend ourselves against it in court.”

Google has faced a slew of legal challenges in the last year. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) filed a lawsuit against Google that claimed the company violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. The company is facing three antitrust lawsuits, led by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the state of Texas and the state of Colorado, respectively. The judge in the DOJ case set a tentative trial date for September 2023. 

Google also earned an overall “D” grade from the Media Research Center in its first Big Tech Report Card for the platform’s overt bias against conservatives and heavy-handed censorship. Google pulled the Parler app from its app store following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. It also reportedly censored thousands of reviews on the stock trading Robinhood app when the app froze the trading of some stocks.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.